50 BILLION Thumbs

Just a few years ago, Jason Derulo stopped by our offices to celebrate receiving the 10 billionth thumb on Pandora. Today, I am proud to share that we have passed 50 billion thumbs. 50 billion. That’s roughly seven thumbs for every person on Earth.

As milestones go, this one is particularly meaningful. Our entire mission is to give listeners the ability to personalize their experience. Thumbs give each listener the power to make Pandora personal to them. Every thumb up and thumb down has not only made your stations better, but helped us make better song choices for every listener. This is a serious group effort – so, thanks!

As you can imagine, it took a lot of songs to hit 50 billion thumbs. While we can’t share every single one, we did want to highlight some of the more momentous thumb recipients along the way.

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Jack White’s Musical Lineage

Our curation team collaborated with in-house artist Carolyn Jaeger to produce this graphic of Jack White’s musical lineage, layered in the rings and bark of his own music. Vining upwards are the branches and leaves of the artists he’s produced and/or collaborated with. And of course his tree’s roots are robust with the influences that helped birth his sound, tone and vision. Click the image for detail.

JackWhiteSquare

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Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

Resonance

Fall Out Boy proves once again with American Beauty/American Psycho there’s still room at the top of the charts for actual rock bands.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.23.01 AMSure, Fall Out Boy is now far from an actual rock band (and well removed from the rockers they once were). But they whip up a gloriously hook-laden stadium pop confection, borrowing melodies from Suzanne Vega and even reworking The Munsters’ theme!

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Former Company Of Thieves vocalist makes a name for herself as a solo artist.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.37.31 AMLos Angeles based Genevieve swaps indie rock for alt-pop with the release of the incredibly infectious Colors (Single). Backed with distorted guitars, electronic keyboards, synths and a boom-bap beat; she sings about everyday struggles with a message of inspiration, repeatedly chanting, “Show your true colors, girl!”

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Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Rootsy chanteuse Brandi Carlile delivers a harmonic departure with The Eye (Single) 

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 12.53.22 PMIf Brandi Carlile’s new single is indicative of what her upcoming album The Firewatcher’s Daughter sounds like, we can expect a slight departure. This song is enveloped in timeless, three-part, vocal harmonies that give more depth to heady lyrics like, “You can dance in a hurricane/ But only if you’re standing in the eye.”

 

Two brothers drop hits on Mike WiLL Made-It’s Ear Drummer Records.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 12.54.44 PMSlim Jimmy and Swae Lee came from Mississippi to Atlanta, got dibbs on the super producer’s beats, and Rae Sremmurd‘s SremmLife was born. In addition to Mike WiLL, Sonny Digital, Young Chop and Soundz create the perfect soundscape.  The bass will make you want to hit the club with Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. Read More →

GRAMMYs – Who do you predict will win?

Music is at the heart of everything we do here at Pandora – and we know it’s equally as important to each of you. In honor of this year’s GRAMMY Awards, we thought it would be fun to look at your listening patterns and try to predict who will win big at this year’s awards.

Historically, you are pretty good at predicting who will win, simply based on how you listen to music throughout the year. To come up with this year’s listener predictions, we looked back at the past few years of nominees and winners, how you engaged with those songs, and applied that to this year’s class.

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Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks 

Artist Debuts 

Sofi De La Torre

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.21.31 AMAlthough she hasn’t charted yet stateside, Berlin-based Spanish singer-songwriter Sofi De La Torre has already made an impression in the US, with publications like Time praising her latest single “Vermillion” as, “The gloriously gloomy song of the summer” and by Billboard as, “One of the best songs of the year.” Teaming up with German house producers Andre Crom and Chi Thanh, the remix version of “Vermillion” was recently spun by Tiesto on BBC Radio 1.

Launch a Sofi De La Torre here to hear what all the fuss is about!

Juan Wauters

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.24.13 AMJuan Wauters (his real name) is solo project of the singer for Queens-based DIY/garage band The Beets. His debut project N.A.P. North American Poetry has appeared on numerous Best Of 2014 lists and is considered by bloggers and critics as one of the year’s underrated and overlooked releases. Retaining much of The Beets punk/Beatle-esque pop influences, he incorporates personal songwriting elements in addition to Tropicalia and South American folk – which he encountered growing up in Uruguay. Read More →

Hail to the King!

As we celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday, it’s crucial to remember four important sentences once sung by Mojo Nixon:

“Elvis is everywhere. Elvis is everything. Elvis is everybody. Elvis is still The King.”

Maybe Nixon wasn’t aware of it at the time, but the chorus of this 1987 recording can also be juxtaposed to the four main eras of Elvis.

Elvis is everywhere.

elvisrocknrollThis perfectly describes young Elvis. Memphis Elvis. In 1954 Sam Phillips rolled tape at Sun Studios of Elvis recording Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right (Mama).” By blending blues, honky tonk and rockabilly; Elvis changed the game. For a while it looked like teenagers and rock ‘n’ roll might just take over the world. Suddenly this young blue-eyed, pelvis-swaying sensation was everywhere. He was omnipresent. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Artist Debuts

PRhyme

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 8.29.36 AMDJ Premier and Royce da 5’9” combine like Voltron to bring you PRhyme, one of the hottest hip hop releases of 2014. Primo samples live licks from Adrian Younge’s jam sessions, manipulating them with his MPC and scratching skills. Hip Hop’s favorite producer paints a dark soundscape for Royce and a slew of MC’s to spit over. Common, Jay Electronica, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller and Dwele all represent over his beats. Cuts like “Courtesy”, “U Looz” and “You Should Know”, all bring back that classic era Hip Hop sound on PRhyme.

Our Friend And The Spiders

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.16.39 PMMontreal indie rock quartet Our Friend And The Spiders play that Pacific Northwest flavored melodic guitar-pop, but without succumbing to any of the nasal-toned affectations that bled from Built To Spill into The Shins into John Vanderslice and so forth. Singer MatMo croons in a more throaty tone with an assertive delivery that helps give these songs more muscle than the sum of their contemporaries. Special attention is paid to the rich, tonal voicing of what sounds like a vintage guitar and boutique amplifier combination, courtesy of guitarist SebRod. But it’s the vacuum tight rhythm section of bassist Pascal Sauvageau and drummer Phil Grant that gives OFATS the propulsion of a well-oiled engine. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks 

Artist Debuts

BORNS

Having just taken New York City’s CMJ festival by storm, singer-songwriter Garrett Borns (aka BØRNS) practically came out of nowhere with the release of his buzzworthy debut single, the glimmery infectious “10,000 Emerald Pools” and the release of his EP Candy, all of which was written in his treehouse home in Los Angeles. Leading off with “Electric Love”, the album mixes indie/synth pop with sugary sweet melodies blanketed in sunny West Coast ambience.

The Charlie Rogers Band

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 12.55.59 PMWith a name like The Charlie Rogers Band, it sounds like these folks have been in the game for as long as The Charlie Daniels Band. But their style of country is more effervescent than a freshly popped bottle of Lone Star beer. By blending the rootsy accouterments of traditional country with a studied pop songwriting style, Rogers and company have created a balance that simultaneously sounds both classic and fresh. If you’ve ever watched the television series Nashville, it’s easy to wonder why this band has yet to appear on an episode. Read More →

Looking Back On The Music Of 2014, Genre By Genre

What’s most memorable about your favorite music of 2014? Jog your memory by diving into one of Pandora’s many End Of Year stations. If you like the mainstream music across pop, rock, country, Christian, dance and regional Mex – then this blog is for you.

Ever wonder what the number one songs are based on your thumbs? Here’s a review of the top songs of the year on Pandora. Let’s start with some of the highlights of 2014 Top Pop:

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 6.55.12 PM OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” kicked off 2014 in the number one spot, but five-and-a-half months later Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” bumped it by a nose. She held that position for two months before two new artists that own a big piece of pop music in 2014 made their mark. Ariana Grande’s “Problem” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” stayed at number one for three weeks. But don’t get too comfy Iggy, because here comes Sam the man! The week of July 24, the uplifting gospel-infused “Stay with Me” from Sam Smith settled in at number one…that is until October 22, when Meghan Trainor, a Nashville newcomer gave us arguably the most infectious song of the year with “All About That Bass.” But Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell Em,” which still holds the first place spot, quickly displaced that three weeks later. R&B influenced ballads ruled in 2014 with huge hits from John Legend, Sam Smith, Hozier and now George Ezra coming on strong. Sam Smith is an amazing solo story this year along with the mainstream success of “Latch” and “La La La” but the male singer-songwriter with unbelievable worldwide appeal is Ed Sheeran. Also, Sia is Wonder Woman! She writes great songs – “Diamonds,” “Titanium,” “Wild Ones” and man, what a voice! “Chandelier” and now the new Annie soundtrack? And of course, Taylor Swift said goodbye to country and Spotify, entering the pop realm with “Shake It Up.” Now it looks like “Blank Space” will be even bigger. Read More →